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Lymphoma
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Lymphoma

My cat, Sadie, may have lymphoma and needs another ultrasound and a biopsy--there are strange nodules in her spleen.  She had been losing weight, but other than that was just as mischievous and energetic as always.  Has anyone had experience with lymphoma in cats and has anyone experienced having their cat treated for it?.

Thanks for any info.

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Hi Sadie,
I really feel for you and Sadie.  I had a beloved 16 year old cat that had intestinal lymphoma.  My cat, too, displayed no symptoms until I took him to the Vet, and she felt a mass.  I eventually got him to a specialist Vet in Internal Medicine.  Yes, it will take an ultrasound and biopsy to diagnose it.   My kitty's lymphoma was widespread, but , considering his age, he did fine for a while on a treatment plan.  How old is Sadie?
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Maddie,

Sadie is only 6 years old. Right now she is on Prednisone and after we finish that they sugguest another ultrasound and biopsy and then if the cells in her Spleen are dx as lymphoma we have the option of Chemo--not a pleasant thought.

Thanks for your response.  did your cat have chemo or was it too late for that??
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Hi Sadie,
My kitty was 16 years old when he was diagnosed with intestinal lymphoma, and he was also showing some kidney deficiency, although the kidneys were not serious yet.  He wasn't a good candidate for the IV chemo, as his cancer was too widespread, and then the kidneys issue.  He also had bad rthritis.  And he was very feisty and skiddish with the Vets.    He just hated going to the Internal Medicine Hospital.  He did have some oral chemo (Cytoxan) and also prednisone.  He  also was given an appetite stimulant and pepcid for his stomach.  Surprisingly he did well for almost 7 months.  Getting him to eat was a big problem when he got so sick and losing weight.

It sounds like your Vet caught this early with Sadie.  Cats respond very well to chemo, unlike us.  Is she good at the Vet's.  You can ask more questions on the "Ask the Expert Forum" if you want more info on the chemo for cats.  A Vet will answer your questions.

Keep us posted on the outcome of the ultrasound and biopsy.  I'll be thinking of you.  It's so hard when our pets get sick.  Hugs  
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Our kitty Lizzie was 12 when she showed sudden weight loss with no other symptoms except a history of unusual blood counts (high RBC several years before, then high WBC). It took quite awhile and many tests, finally by an internist specialist far away, to diagnose her with Multicentric Lymphoma, Stage V. We did treat her with chemo and she went into remission right away and did quite well for another seven months. When she came out of remission it was during that deathly time of year for anyone -- between Christmas and New Year, when absolutely everybody is on vacation and you can't get any goods or services. At the time, we lived in a rural mountain area and that complicated everything a hundred times over.  Lizzie probably would not have made it anyway, but I always curse the timing and the fact that we could not obtain a "rescue" drug in time. Being a chemotherapy caregiver is not for the faint-hearted. It is very expensive (much more than the estimate they give you), mainly because of all the blood tests that are required, more than the actual price of drugs. I had a hard time getting the local vet office on board with the special care that a chemo patient requires -- or else what is the point of doing it?  A chemo patient has no immune system left, so minor ailments like bacterial, viral and fungal infections must be tended to immediately, for one thing. Another thing is the need for no waiting around in the reception area with all the other sick pets, but I could not convince the receptionists to phone me when they are running hours late. Things like that can make you pretty nuts, when it is constant and repetitive.

This is a hard decision. There is a Yahoo support group specifically for feline lymphoma that is simply outstanding. I could not have done it without these experienced and loving people. If you are interested, I can look it up for you.

I still break down a little when i think of my Lizzie. There will never be any other kitty quite like her.
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Hi Lynne,
I know exactly what you went thru as I went thru the same thing with my precious kitty.  I wanted to give him every chance.  It was a lot of caregiving, and I learned so much.  I had a Board Certified Internal Medicine Vet, and he was wonderful, and also the Vet Techs were outstanding at this Specialty Hospital.  I was very fortunate, as I could get my cat in any time, and I lived close by, too, which helped.  But someone living in a rural area may not have a specialty pet hospital that close.  

Sadie, you will know more once you get the diagnosis and see what the suggested course of treatment is for Sadie.  Don't be afraid to get a second opinion if you're not sure what to do.  Sadie is still very young, too, so that's a plus.  Also, as Lynne stated, the Yahoo Feline Lymphoma group would be a great support.  I wish I had known about it when my cat was so sick.  My cat died six days before Christmas, and it's still very hard missing him.
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Thanks so much for your feedback.  Sadie has lost weight but is still very playful, energetic and her silly self.  So, guess we will continue with the Prednisone till it runs its course in two weeks and then have another ultrasound and biopsy.  It scares me a bit that the Radiologist who did the ultrasound said that if it is mast cell cancer and not lymphoma she could go into shock during the biopsy.  I guess i will not know much more until another two weeks goes by.  I appreciate your support and knowing you are there.  I lost my other Manx almost 15 years ago and tool almost 10 years to get another one and here we go again. I can't imagine losing her.  Funny guess we all see our cats as very special creatures--one of a kind and yet they are all so special.  This morning i looked out the window upstairs and called her and she came running in the cat door and upstairs and jumped on the bed to play.  If you haven't read the book called "Emotional Lives of Cats" pick it up--written by a psychotherapist who has 3 cats--they are not supposed to come when you call them!!!
take care,
sadie44
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It's been over three years since we lost Lizzie, so I've forgotten many details about the disease and treatment. There is one thing sticking in my mind about Prednisone, though -- while it serves to make the patient perk up and feel better immediately, increase appetite, etc. (all very good of course) -- it also masks cancer symptoms or something similar that has to do with interfering with either cancer diagnosis or treatment. I remember being asked at the very beginning whether I was planning on preceding to chemo, and if so they would not start Lizzie on Prednisone alone. Do you remember the details on this, Maddie? Prednisolone (different form of pred.) was a part of our regular regimen along with chemo, however, so the reasoning is not clear in my mind.

Cats do what they want to do, so of course Sadie will come when called if she feels like it, heh. Our Annie-Cat has selective hearing about things like that, although Lizzie always responded to everything I ever said to her (sometimes the answer was "No, thanks for asking," but at least she always responded).  Please give Sadie a hug from us, and Annie-Cat is sending her some special purrs.
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Hi,
Lynne, I remember when Mikey was first diagnosed, one of his Vets had him on Prednisone, but it didn't seem enough.  I then was referred to the Internal Medicine vet, and he changed from Prednisone to Prednisolone, which gets into the bloodstream faster, I believe.  Also he prescribed Cytosan and an appetite stimulant.  I believe Mikey had the intestinal mass for a while without showing any symptoms.  When i took him to the Vet for a Senior Exam, she suspected something was wrong because he had lost two pounds.  Mikey slept a lot, but that's not that unusual for any cat ,and he was 16.  Yes, that's the problem as they don't show signs of pain until it's severe.  Sadie, I would keep a watch on your cat's weight.
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I'm so sorry you are going through this with Sadie.  

I just lost my 5 year old, Daisy, from an aggressive form of Lymphoma on July 22.  With Daisy, we noticed a lump on her neck and had blood work done - that was in April.  Her bloodwork was normal and so the vet thought it was nothing to worry about.  By June, the lump all of a sudden doubled and we took her in again and had more blood work done.  The blood work came back abnormal and then we did a biopsy and it showed Lymphoma.  At that point, the vet x-rayed her chest cavity and the cancer had spread to other other organs.  He gave her a shot of prednisone and pain medication to help keep her comfortable.  It gave her another 3 weeks with us and I'll be forever thankful for that time with her.

It's not an easy cancer and I'm sure you have read online about the success rate with chemo (that was not an option for Daisy) and other treatments.  I will be praying that your Sadie will have success and that you'll be able to keep her comfortable throughout this process.  

Hugs,
Janet
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Thank you for all your messages.  I ordered something called NHV  E-Clear and have no idea of this herbal remedy will help at all.  I will be away till the 30th of August and have a cat sitter. Right now Sadie is stable on the Prednisone but when i return we will explore the Ultrasound and biopsy.

Talk to you then.

thanks again,

sadie44
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Hi,
I'm so glad Sadie is stable and doing well, and good luck with the herbal remedy.  Have a good trip and nice time while you are away.
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I've had my cat for 14years now. About 2 months ago I noticed a small lump on the back of his neck, now its about the size of a grapefruit. The vet didn't run any test, they said they would have to do surgery to remove it. Like your cat my cat still runs and plays like nothing is wrong. I can't afford the surgery which is $2000.00+. A friend of mine that has had cats before told me to just let him live the rest of his life in peace if its not bother him, because they might remove it and he could still pass away from the surgery.  My husband and I have been trying to figure out a way to raise money for the surgery, but we are having no luck.


My prayers go out to you.
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